aMAZIng Young Person – Elsie

Mazi Project Emergency Appeal

Hear from our aMAZIng young person, El who was made homeless and has been using our services for nearly 2 years now.

Can you give a little backstory as to why you are in your accommodation?

So the reason I’m in my current accommodation was that I was illegally subletting from a family member. I lost my job due to time I’d taken off for my mental health (despite it all being cleared or providing sick notes for these instances). After that, I couldn’t afford to pay rent, so as soon as I couldn’t pay the rent anymore my family member kicked me out of the flat.

Throughout the past two years, we have heard some of the aMAZIng work you have been doing for LGBTQ+ community. Can you tell us a bit about this and what you have set up?

Through 16-25, I started running a queer peer support group. Unfortunately, this stopped running due to a lack of organisation from the people I was running it with. However, I was then contacted by Youth Education Services to run the sessions there instead, which I’ve been doing so for a few months now. It’s a space for queer young people to come and be themselves basically! We run sessions where we might see queer art or drag performances, as well as cozy sessions doing tye die or learning to stitch. I wanted to create a space where anyone. Could come, try out new pronouns/names, or most importantly feel comfortable talking about issues/pregidious they may be facing due to their queer identity. Everyone deserves a space to be themselves and to be proud of their identity.

What other things do you like doing?

I go to K1 kickboxing! I’ve found this incredible for a multitude of reasons, but the reason I started it was quite a sad one. It was at the Bristol wake for Brianna Ghey, where myself and lots of other trans people felt they needed to learn to defend themselves in this current political climate, and from the same kinds of people who committed the atrocious murder. I’ve found that the community it provides with the people who attend has given me so much confidence in myself and my body, as well as giving me some fantastic friends who I would’ve never met otherwise! I also do climbing and longboarding although I’m a lot less consistent with both and nowhere near as good as I am at kickboxing (the beauty of having multiple hobbies).

What are your favorite MAZI recipes and why?

I love the puff pastry pizza, I have the recipe memorised at this point! I love that I can use the ingredients provided, but also add my own stuff (usually chorizo and perhaps a fancy cheese like Brie). I do miss the old recipe for the halloumi and quinoa salad though, I keep my fingers crossed every day for a reappearance! They’re both recipes that I would’ve never thought to try, but (the pizza especially) are cheap to make if I’m buying the ingredients myself too

What three requests do you have for our new government?

I think there needs to be some sort of governmental reform in general. People shouldn’t be allowed to be in politics if they’re only there to discriminate against minorities for votes. I feel that people having more authority to control a country just because they were born rich or to the right parents is just as antiquated as the monarchy itself and all three examples have no place in today’s society.

There needs to be a review on trans healthcare – a ban on hormone blockers for trans youth (ONLY trans youth, other children can have them AS LONG AS the reason isn’t for gender dysphoria) went through without a vote and will kill teenagers as a result. I believe people should be able to get on hrt easier and not have to jump through as many hoops, or have to pay an extortionate amount to bypass the 10+ year wait times on NHS. Also, conversion therapy against gay people was banned, but not conversion therapy for trans people. This needs to be seriously reviewed.

The Pip system needs to be evaluated as well.  Both labour and the conservative party are talking about wanting to put physically disabled people and mentally disabled/ill people in work. The whole process of applying for PIP is incredibly stressful and traumatising to those applying to it, who feel they have to prove how mentally/physically ill they are, and feel invalidated if they are not the very illest they physically could be.

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07913 669 426
Unit 2, St Catherines Trading Estate
Dalby Avenue, Bedminster
Bristol, BS3 4DJ